God is really getting a workout during this election year. There was a time when the TV preachers devoted their programs to telling us how angry God was with the way we were behaving in our private lives, which of course is their business.
But now we're being told that God has a vested interest in what candidates we put in public office, and some fundamentalist sects known as the "Moral Majority" are spending loads of money to defeat anybody whose voting record doesn't go along with their interpretation of the Bible.
They are calling for a holy war against those who are for the ERA, abortion, school busing and against the B-1 bomber.
I always thought the nice thing about God was that he stayed out of American politics.
But after watching the TV shows for the past few weeks. I was beginning to wonder.
So when I spoke to God the other night I asked, "Who are you going to vote for this year?"
God seemed very angry. "I never take sides in an American election."
"But there are a lot of people down here who say you want Reagan."
"That's ridiculous. I hardly know the man, though I have seen his movies."
"But the Bible-thumpers keep quoting you all the time. They say you've definitely made your mind up and we better all go along with you or we're headed for damnation."
"With all due respect to those people, they don't know what in the devil they're talking about. I've told them time and time again that I don't give political endorsements. If I did, I wouldn't be God. I have a good mind to sue them for using my name without my permission."
"I don't blame you," I said. "And I for one never believed them when they kept quoting on the political issues."
"What scares me," God said, "is telling the American people whom I support but they're raising all their money in my name. They keep warning the viewing audience that if they don't send their checks, I'm going to be very upset. I don't deal in money -- never have and never will. But they're telling those poor souls out there that if they don't come up with a contribution they won't have salvation. I'd appreciate it if you would put the word out that anyone is free to send in any amount of money to a TV minister, but their money isn't buying a place in heaven. It's buying limousines and private airplanes and $500 suits for the people who are making the pitches."
"God, you sound mad."
"I am mad. I'm trying to keep the whole world from blowing up and those preachers down there say my only concern is to defeat George McGovern in South Dakota."
"I wish you could somehow get the message over that you aren't for or against anyone running in our elections this year. It would certainly clear the air for all of us."
"I can't do it. I believe in the separation of church and state. I've stayed out of American politics since 1776, and that's why you people are still around. I'm sorry. I have to go now, I have the Moral Majority on hold."